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Apple ordered to pay VirnetX $439.7 million

by on17 October 2017

Nicked four patents then hacked off the judge

Fruity cargo cult Apple has been ordered to pay $439.7 million for nicking the tech in four patents in FaceTime and other iOS apps.

The case, brought by VirnetX, goes back to 2010 and Apple plans to string it out further by appealing.

VirnetX won $368 million in 2012 and then sued again which was the suit that's being ruled on today. Apple initially lost the suit, then filed for a mistrial. It won a new trial, lost that trial, was ordered to pay around $300 million, then lost some more and is now having that amount upped even further.

This is because judge Robert Schroeder thought Apple was guilty of wilful infringement, bumping its payment amount from $1.20 per infringing Apple device to $1.80 per device.

Those include certain iPhones, iPads, and Macs. VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen said he's "elated" with the court's final judgment.

"This is the third time a jury has ruled in our favour against Apple", said Larsen. "This Final Judgement amount is large because sales of Apple's infringing products are large. The cost of our security technology in infringing devices has been apportioned and is less than a quarter of one percent of the device's cost. We believe this established per device rate for security is very reasonable and will greatly assist us with our domestic and global licensing efforts."

To be far to Apple, VirnetX is what others might suggest are patent trolls and all the cases are taking place in the Eastern District of Texas which is patent troll central. But any sympathy you might have for Jobs’ Mob disappears when you read how Apple’s legal tactics hacked off the court.

Schroeder said Apple kept trying to stall the litigation due to reviews at the US Patent Office and how the company sought "to inject evidence of the proceedings into the trial, even after receiving adverse rulings from the Court".

"Apple's continued infringement after the first verdict in 2012 could not be justified and therefore must be considered wilful. Continuing to sell products with VPN on Demand and FaceTime features was "unreasonably risky or reckless", Schroeder held.

Apple created conflicts on the eve of trial, by hiring a jury consultant who used to work for VirnetX during the first trial, as well as a former VirnetX appellate counsel. Apple's "failure to ensure that its consultant actually had no conflicts unnecessarily complicated the trial", and the company's decision to do so warrants the payment of attorneys' fees related to the third trial, Schroeder wrote.

Last modified on 17 October 2017
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